On a sunny afternoon sometime in July of 1970, a pair of teenage sisters were cruising the back roads of the Pocono Mountains when they caught sight of a hideous bipedal monstrosity, which would stay etched in their memories for the rest of their lives.
In 2015, a grandmother from New York State — who asked to be identified only as Annette B. — contacted American Monsters, presented us with (what she freely admits was) an “very rough sketch” and regaled us with a tale of her brief, yet memorable, run-in with a bizarre HYBRID-BEAST in the Pocono Mountains.
Although nearly half-a-century had elapsed since the event, the incident remained fresh in her memory… and lingering fears have kept her out of the woods to this day.
Nestled in the North-Eastern corner of Pennsylvania and overlooking the Delaware Valley, the picturesque Pocono Mountains are 2,400-square miles of pristine lakes and forests, which, like so many other remote woodlands in North America, are reputed to harbor a population of large, hairy, BIGFOOT-like beasts.
But, according to one eyewitness, there is at least one unknown creature lurking in the wilds of the Poconos that is neither human, SASQUATCH nor DEVIL MONKEY. In fact, this unique being may well to belong to a sub-species all its own.
The story of this curious cryptid begins in July of 1970, when a then 18 year-old Annette was spending her third summer as an employee of the Bill Walker Motor Lodge, located in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania. The woman and her visiting sister, 16 year-old Christine, had just dropped off Annette’s co-worker and were returning to the lodge.
According to Annette’s account, the sisters — savoring the fact that they had been given permission to drive Bill Walker’s Porsche on the errand — were having a grand time driving through a densely wooded area with the windows down and the radio up. It was then that they had an encounter with the unknown, which neither woman would ever forget. In Annette’s own words:
“I was driving at about 35 miles per hour and as the road curved I saw this thing walking in the tall grass right in front of the tree line on the opposite side of the road. I instantly slowed down to get a better look and my sister said ‘oh my God, what is that?’”
Instinctively, Annette slowed the sport’s car “down to a crawl” in order to get a look at this anomalous animalistic figure. It was then that she got her first extended look of the now immobile being’s visage. Annette described what she saw:
“It had kind of a flat head, like Frankenstein, and big eyes. The nose was small, almost non-existent, like two slits. It had protruding ears and full lips. Its mouth was open, but I didn’t see any teeth.”
Annette would go on to describe a creature that stood between 6 and 7-feet tall, with a broad chest, a long neck and a coat of dingy off-white fur that covered its body and most of its face.
She was unsure whether or not the traces of brown in the pelt were part of the pigmentation or simply dirt matted into the hair. Annette went on to further describe its face:
“Its eyes were dark and spaced far apart. Its hair covered the lower half of its face. There was pinkish skin around the eyes and forehead. It looked like its hair was a little longer on its head and hanging over its forehead like bangs.”
Annette stated that the creature was standing in grass, which she estimated as being about 3-feet tall, rendering its’ lower extremities invisible, but she noticed that its arms were inordinately long and hung down at its sides. She couldn’t make out the hands.
As the Porsche ground to a halt on the gravel road, Annette claimed to have locked eyes with the beast. The moment her eyes met this bestial being’s. she was suddenly overcome by a wave of nauseating terror.
Annette quickly rolled her window up and that was when Christine — justifiably overwhelmed by the whole ordeal — started to scream for her sister to drive away. Annette broke her gaze away from the man-thing’s hauntingly dark eyes and sagely complied with her sister’s panicked request. According to Annette:
“I hit the gas. I was scared. I wanted to get out of there. I just had a feeling if we stayed there that that thing might attack us. I don’t know why. It was just a gut reaction.”
As they left the creature behind, Annette glanced into the rear view mirror, terrified by the prospect that this thing might actually start to pursue her and her nearly hysterical sister. The Wildman had not moved a muscle with the exception of its head, which it had apparently turned to watch them depart.
A few miles later, just as the two petrified siblings were starting to regain their composure, the unthinkable happened. The brand new Porsche suddenly died in the middle of the rural road. Being the older sister, Annette attempted to put on a veneer of calm for the benefit of Christine, but was secretly horrified that the beast might be lurking in the woods just feet away from the stalled car.
As luck would have a good Samaritan soon passed by and was able to get the Porsche — with had been left bereft oil by its owners — running again. The relieved siblings heartily thanked their benefactor and made it back to the motor lodge without incident. On the way there they decided (out of fear of ridicule) to keep their sighting to themselves.
Years later, I sketched the creature that Annette described and — after making all of the requisite changes to make the image match her memory — she stated that it was like seeing the monster again for the first time in 45 years. To the right is my very rough, yet witness approved, sketch of the Pocono Wildman.
When I asked her is she thought she might have seen a Bigfoot she shook her head in the negative and stated:
“I don’t think so. It may have been part-human, part-caveman. That’s the only thing I can think to compare it to. It was definitely not a person or a bear. To this day, I have no idea what it might have been.”
It’s interesting to note Annette’s “caveman” comparison, as there are many who feel that the Russian ALMAS is less a YETI-like animal and more of a prototypical Neanderthal. Could it be that a FORMERLY EXTINCT human ancestor is skulking around the Poconos? Similar sightings, though rare, have been reported from across the globe from Russia to the Pacific Northwest.
At this point we should also consider Annette’s physical descriptions of this decidedly un-Bigfoot-like being. First of all the detail of the “flat head” is diametrically opposed to the usually peaked and conical HAIRY HOMINID skull. Also the mentioning of its “neck” does not fit with the typical Sasquatch depiction. Albinism, however, is fairly common in Bigfoot sightings.
So far this is the only account of an a flat headed, slit nosed, full lipped, hairy, albino “thing” we’ve found in Pennsylvania or anywhere else. We may be dealing with a deformed Hairy Hominid, a relic Neanderthal or, as one researcher suggested — under condition of anonymity:
“Maybe it’s some kind of weird crossbreed between a Bigfoot and a Grey. Abductees claim that they’re making hybrid human babies, so why not make hybrid Bigfoot babies? Who knows?”
The speculation is, needless to say, farfetched. But the fact is there’s no more evidence for or against the “alien-hybrid” hypothesis, than there is for any other theory.
Either way, until this creature raises its mop of dingy hair again, all we can do is wait and remain optimistic that it won’t take another 45 years before we receive a second report.
This case is a great example of why I love picking up vintage crypto-books. Not only are most of them absolutely fascinating reads, which present many stories that would otherwise be lost to the ages, but sometimes, when you least expect it, the information contained therein manages to confirm what was heretofore a presumably isolated and unrelated event.
In their extraordinarily thorough chronicle of all the available Bigfoot accounts between 1918 and 1980, “The Bigfoot Casebook” published in 1982, Janet and Colin Bord included a spate of encounters that took place in Pennsylvania during 1973.
Although all of these cases are of interest to us, the one that stands out in particular is a report of an atypical encounter with a strange, albino, humanoid creature, which we’ve dubbed the WESTMORELAND WILDMAN. Although these encounters took place 3 years after and approximately 240-miles from the Blakeslee sighting, there seems to be an undeniable connection between the striking description (and accompanying illustration – above) made by the unnamed girls near Pittsburgh and the report made by the then young sisters in the Poconos.
Beside the fact that they both described a white-furred creature with sparse hair around the eyes, nose and mouth, the Westmoreland witnesses illustration — which was culled from the files of LOREN COLEMAN — clearly shows the creature as having short hair atop its head, pointed ears, full lips and exposed nostrils — all of which it shares in common with the Pocono Wildman.
I forwarded the above image to “Annette B.” who regaled us with her sighting of the Pocono Wildman and she declared that the resemblance between what she had seen and the illustration above to be “uncanny.” She was also delighted by the prospect that someone — besides her and her sister — might have seen the same (or a very similar) creature in the same, admittedly general, time frame and region.
While there is no direct evidence linking these two case (when is there ever?) it seems as if there may well have been a strange — and possibly extraterrestrial — entity skulking around Pennsylvania in the early 1970s.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto chronicler / pod host / cult movie lover and co-founder of American Monsters.